Colleges want special talents and abilities but I'm not sure about mine...

Hi, I know many colleges, especially Stanford, select students by their strengths and special talents, but I don’t think there’s anything special about me… I want to win them over but how? I’m not a particularly emotional or great essayist either… and honestly I don’t even really care what college I go to. I just wanna go to any “good” one to get a good job for lotsa money LOL. Im just thinking about Stanford because I qualify for the free tuition and board fees.

I think all my life I have no life and just study. I don’t really have any passions. I mean, I play the piano and will receive a Diploma after the “National Piano Playing Awards Audition” test. However, I’m not passionate about piano. I sorta just play because my mom made me and for the title of Diploma. Piano isn’t even special since every Asian does that. I don’t even like practicing… Most people practice like an hour a day to play well but I play less than 2 hours a week because it feels like forever to me.

I’m not a great athlete either. I am interested in the environment but I don’t like animals or going outside much.

I’m introverted and don’t make many friends. All I really do is read some books and watch some movies but I don’t wanna be a writer or movie director or anything.

Im not even sure what I wanna be. I thought about being a math professor but kinda don’t wanna because I’m too lazy to get a master’s degree but maybe I will. Math is my strongest subject but I don’t think Im that good. I got 750 for math on the sat but not 800. Ill see what I get on sat ii math level 2.

What do you do when you’re just… not that special? Lol. I know I’m not the only one without drive. For a year, I was depressed and I guess that sucked the life out of me… Could I write about that in my essay? Nah. Could I write about being poor and to immigrant parents? Nah. They weren’t really like struggling refugees or anything. My life isn’t that bad a sob story for essays haha. So what do I do?

You build a list of colleges that you would like to attend that includes most matches & safeties. Put a couple reaches on it, but focus your attention on more attainable schools where you could be happy and it is affordable.

P.S. - Math professers need a PhD, not just a master’s. So 5-6 more years after finishing your undergrad.

Are you in any extracurriculars (either inside or outside of school)?

If you’re interested in the environment, do you live close to a park where perhaps you could volunteer? Is there an environment club at your school? Could you do some sort of recycling project within the school? In addition, taking AP Environmental Science or even an Animal Science class combined with this will make a student that says “I’m passionate about the environment”

Since you seem to have some talent at the piano, why not begin teaching piano lessons or volunteering to teach it to underserved kids? You could also possibly take AP Music Theory online if your school doesn’t offer it. If your school has a band that takes piano players (such as jazz band) you could begin playing for them as well.

It’s really only the very top schools that choose students based on special talents. This is because most of their applicants have wonderful grades and test scores, and they need another way to differentiate among them. Most colleges choose students pretty much by grades and test scores (although extracurriculars, recommendation letters, and essays may also be taken into account—check each college’s Common Data Set), so focus on those.

I am in AP Environmental Science :slight_smile: and I did volunteer by planting trees once but there arent many volunteer opportunities. I would plant more trees but idk.
Honestly, I’m not interested in band because that’s time-consuming and I’m already doing 15 AP’s by the end of high school. I CAN get a piano diploma, enabling me to teach piano. But I’ll get that when I finish 12th grade.
I’m in Key Club, NHS, CSF, Acadeca, varsity tennis, and Math Club. I wanna join Environmental Club but it seems really unorganized. Like I wasnt even aware it existed and when I asked for updates, I never get updated. I hope to though.
Thanks for the replies!